Category Archives: Learning To Pray Effectively

A Prayer for Defense Against the Wicked

There are no special words that must be repeated in prayer. However, I find it rewarding to sift through the word of YHWH and to find the prayers of his people as examples of how to pray in certain situations. It helps to guide and mature my prayer life and gives me perspective.

One such prayer is from Psalms and is a prayer for YHWH to defend against the wicked. I think this is a prayer today that we can pray not only for an individual, but for our nation, recognizing that the wicked which seem intent on destroying us are within our own nation trying to separate us from YHWH as a nation and instead desiring that we should all answer to and serve an all powerful central government which provides for us. (That will not work well, it never has.)

Psalm 7

The LORD Implored to Defend the Psalmist against the Wicked.

Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

     1O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

      2Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.

      3O LORD my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,

      4If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,

      5Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

Selah.

      6Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.

      7Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.

      8The LORD judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.

      9O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

      10My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

      11God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.

      12If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.

      13He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.

      14Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.

      15He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.

      16His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.

      17I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Prayer of Moses, The Man of God

Take time to consider how this prayer may still apply in your life today. It certainly gives perspective on our temporary nature compared to YHWH’s eternal nature. What shall we do with our limited time? Whom shall we serve, ourselves or YHWH? Will we let our sin continue to separate us from YHWH or will we repent and submit to him and ask forgiveness? Let us seek him with humble heart.

Psalm 90

God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

1Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

2Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

3You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”

4For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.

5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.

6In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.

7For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

8You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

9For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.

10As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.

11Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

12So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.

14O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.

16Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.

17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Prayer For and Against the Enemies of YHWH

As a people who follow Yeshua, we are the most persecuted group in the world according to studies I have seen recently. Much of the persecution comes in the Middle East from Islamic countries or in Africa and China and Russia. In America, we enjoy much freedom and protection for worshipping YHWH. However, even here we can see the erosion of our rights which are constantly being challenged in court in examples across the nations as companies like Hobby Lobby must go to court to avoid being forced into health insurance supporting abortion. Chik Fil A is constantly persecuted on college campuses or airports or cities like New York because they stand for Christian values. Small businesses like the Colorado baker or some florists and photographers are under assault leally because they refuse to endorse and participate in homosexual marriages or gender transition parties. University professors have been fired for refusing to use transgender pronouns to recognize someone who has tried to change their gender (which is not actually possible… it is in our DNA). High schools allow children to choose what locker room and bathrooms they can use, regardless of their actual gender.

There are other examples. We see wickedness throughout many who struggle for power in politics and business in our nation that support and lead these attacks.

Yeshua instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us that we may walk in his ways and be different from the world.

Matthew 5

43You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

It is an interesting apparent contrast with some of the prayers we find in Psalms whereby even righteous people are praying for YHWH to defeat their enemies and protect them from the wicked.

Psalm 129

Prayer for the Overthrow of Zion’s Enemies.

A Song of Ascents.

     1“Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up,”
Let Israel now say,

      2“Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up;
Yet they have not prevailed against me.

      3“The plowers plowed upon my back;
They lengthened their furrows.”

      4The LORD is righteous;
He has cut in two the cords of the wicked.

      5May all who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned backward;

      6Let them be like grass upon the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up;

      7With which the reaper does not fill his hand,
Or the binder of sheaves his bosom;

      8Nor do those who pass by say,
“The blessing of the LORD be upon you;
We bless you in the name of the LORD.”

We should indeed pray for our enemies, that they would repent and turn from their wicked ways and turn to Yeshua and the Father. However, we can also pray that YHWH would defeat the plans of the wicked and their power to harm his people. I believe it is still acceptable to pray for YHWH to protect us from the wicked and bring them to defeat. We can also pray that he would transform them toward paths of righteousness.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Enlighten the Eyes of My Heart

Let us approach our Lord with thanksgiving for fellow believers and for the wonderful gift of our own salvation by grace, through faith. Let us ask Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Ephesians 1

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

O My God, In You I Trust!

Psalm 25 is an inspiring prayer for protection, guidance, and pardon. Don’t just read it, but pray it before almighty God with a genuine heart.

1To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

2O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.

5Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

6Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.

7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.

8Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

9He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.

10All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

11For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

12Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.

14The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

15My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.

17The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.

18Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.

19Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.

20Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.

22Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.

Share this prayer with others you care about!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray Humbly and Wholeheartedly for Personal Repentance

For those of us who wish to truly submit to Yeshua and follow him, we must be willing to humbly admit our faults in order to change them. Yeshua provides a wonderful example of a sinful man who genuinely comes before YHWH for repentance and contrasts that with someone who is praying in a noticeably prideful manner. I encourage each of us to thoughtfully and humbly read the scripture from Luke and then come before our father in genuine humility, admitting our sins, and ask for genuine forgiveness with wholehearted commitment to repent and sin no more.

Luke 18:9-14

9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

All of us remain sinful, no matter where we are in our journey. Take time to identify an area in which you need change and come before YHWH with pure motive and pure heart, privately, and ask forgiveness and ask his help with repentance. Then work consciously to change your wrong behavior and he will help you. Avoid the trap of just asking forgiveness and then continuing in your sin, without repentance and change on your part. If you refuse to change, that is not true repentance and acknowledgment that you are wrong. There is a distinction between having difficulty changing and refusing to change or not trying. Often we will need his help to change our ways as it is difficult for us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Me Know Your Ways

Our prayers and conversations with YHWH do not have to be complicated. We do not get “bonus points” for large words. We do best when we simply set our hearts to trust in Him and talk with Him as we would a Father whom we love and respect.

For the full context of Exodus 33:13, click the link and read the full chapter. I am focusing on a particular verse for today’s consideration.

Exodus 33:13

13“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight.

What a wonderful and simple prayer from Moses. Let us not be afraid to ask the Lord for His help so that we may know His ways and know Him. Why? So we can be rich or happy? No. So we might find more favor in His sight. In our relationship with Him then we find peace and joy and hope.

When is the last time your prayer was focused on asking the Lord to help you know His ways and know Him more so as to find favor in His sight? If you consider the full context of the scripture you will also see that Moses was not just talking the whole time. He allowed time for the Lord to speak and for him to listen. A good way to invest our time for which most of us need more practice.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Speak, For Your Servant Is Listening

Samuel was a great prophet of the Lord. What can we learn from how he connected with the Lord when he was still a child?

  • He listened to the advice of one elder than himself, even though that person was far from perfect.
  • He responded to YHWH’s call with utmost simplicity… no complicated prayer needed. “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
  • Then… he did something amazing that most of us don’t do… he stopped talking to YHWH and started listening.
  • He shared the word that the Lord gave him even though he was scared to do so.

We should do likewise.

1 Samuel 3:1-14

The Prophetic Call to Samuel

     1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

      2It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, 4that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. 8So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. 9And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

      10Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11The LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12“In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13“For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14“Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

      15So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

      19Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. 20All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. 21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Create In Me A Clean Heart, O’ God

We are all sinners in need of grace and forgiveness. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord and repent and He will make us clean again.

Psalm 51

A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

     1Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

3For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

4Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

15O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.

16For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

18By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Reflecting On Our Attitude Toward the LORD

The writer of Ecclesiastes, commonly accepted as Solomon, has much wisdom to share. We do well to take our time and digest it fully rather than quickly scan over it in our hurry to get on with our day. In chapter 5, he addresses several elements of our attitude toward YHWH.

If we reflect on his first example, we probably realize we have a lot to learn and change in our walk with YHWH. Typically today most of us come to YHWH with a list of things we want to talk to him about or ask for him to help us. We often jump right in. Solomon cautions us to remember who is the LORD and who is the servant. Let us approach the LORD with an attitude to listen and learn, to submit and obey. Let us take care to have few words and listen more.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-9

Your Attitude Toward God

     1Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. 2Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. 3For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

      4When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! 5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

      8If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. 9After all, a king who cultivates the field is an advantage to the land.

I definitely would do well to put more focus on listening to my LORD before even asking him for those things with which I am seeking his help.

The second matter is also very important. We should be careful in making vows to the LORD and if we do, we should fulfill them. We should not make excuses. We should take care and fear YHWH. Their is often a tendency to overlook this instruction in the Bible. We tend to characterize YHWH as “love” as if that means we should not revere and in some ways fear him. We should recognize and respect that he is the one who is over our life and our life after death. We should take seriously the desire to please him as a loyal servant would their master.

Verses 8-9 are interesting. I need to dig a little deeper to fully chase that meaning. That is one thing I love about God’s written word… there is always more depth we can search for (like treasure) if we have the will to do so!

My first impression leans into a comparison of the LORD as the king. It is good to have the king who desires to cultivate the land, to be involved in our lives. However, there are clearly examples of oppression and denial of justice because of the people who have authority under him in certain areas. Witnessing unrighteousness does not mean there is not a righteous LORD who is in charge of all. It simply means that there are some wicked people who do not truly submit to and follow him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.